This article is about the coinage called "florin". For people named Florin, see Florin (name). For other uses, see Florin (disambiguation).
Gold florin or "Beiersgulden", struck in Holland under John of Bavaria.
Gold florin or "Philippus goudgulden", struck in Dordrecht under Philip the Fair

Florin derives from the city of Florence (or Firenze) in Italy and frequently refers to the (fiorino d'oro) gold coin struck in 1252.

This money format was borrowed in other countries and the word florin was used, for example, in relation to the Dutch guilder (abbreviated to Fl) as well as the coin first issued in 1344 by Edward III of England – then valued at six shillings, composed of 108 grains (6.99828 grams) of gold with a purity of 23 carats and 312 grains (or 2378 carats)[1][2] – and more recently relating to a British pre-decimal silver coin (later nickel silver) also known as a two shilling (or two bob) "bit" (abbreviation 2/-) worth 24 pence or one-tenth of a pound. Recent research indicates that the florin was once the dominant currency of Europe until accommodative policymaking led to the loss of its status as the continent's de facto reserve currency.[3]

A regional variant of the florin was the Rheingulden, minted by several German states encompassing the commercial centers of the Rhein (Rhine) River valley, under a series of monetary conventions starting in 1354, initially at a standard practically identical to the Florentine florin (98% gold, 3.54 grams). By 1419, the weight had been slightly reduced (to 3.51 grams) and the alloy was substantially reduced (to 79% gold). By 1626, the alloy had been slightly reduced again (to 77% gold), while the weight was more substantially reduced (to 3.240 grams). In 1409, the Rheingulden standard (at the time 91.7% gold) was adopted for the Holy Roman Empire's Reichsgulden.[4]


  1. John S. Dye (1883). Dye's coin encyclopædia: a complete illustrated history of the coins of the world ... Bradley & company. p. 761. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. Palgrave, Sir Robert Harry Inglis (1912). Dictionary of political economy. Macmillan and Co. p. 82. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  3. Death of a Reserve Currency, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, September 2014
  4. W. A. Shaw (1967) [1896]. The History of Currency 1252–1894 (reprint of second ed.). New York: Augustus Kelley. LCCN 67020086.

External links

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